STARLA UBIQIUTIOUS: Self-titled: CD

This new untitled outing doesn’t find Starla straying that far from her last album, Another Train of Thought, though there are a few noticeable differences. While it’s still one woman and her guitar, and her lyrical canon remains firmly centered between the personal and the political, this new one seems a tad more stark and somber. Might be the musical arrangements—which are an improvement—or the fact that her vocals seem a bit more solemn, more restrained. My only complaints are that a few of the songs, while undoubtedly sincere, come across as a little corny. It may simply be my own cynicism taking hold, but I still have yet to come across many acoustic outfits that can tackle the topics of a.) unrequited crushes and b.) anarchism without resorting to drawn-out clichés. Unfortunately, Starla does a bit of both here. Overall, it’s a pretty small grievance, though —the rest of the songs here are smart, pretty, calming; nice rainy-day music for those of us who don’t flinch at the sound of acoustic guitars.

 –keith (Sharpie Fumes)